The Sound of Music

Date 1st May 2019
Society Diva Productions
Venue Theatre Royal, Wakefield
Type of Production Musical
Director Andrew Ashley
Musical Director Jonathan Mitra
Choreographer Kimberley Baker
Producer Andrew Ashley & Andy Fretwell

Report

Author: Christine Castle

It hardly seems possible that this iconic musical has been around for nearly 60 years and still manages to draw good audiences - but then - true stories often do!

This delightful production encompassed everything that is true theatre. Andrew Ashley (Director and Co-Producer) must be congratulated for his vision of this production. He directed his cast sensitively and I could see a lot of hard work (and long rehearsals!) had been put into it, making it leap out from the stage and into the hearts of the audience - not easy, when we all know the story so well!

He gathered a talented cast around him - I was particularly impressed with Dale Vaughan's interpretation of Captain Von Trapp - a tough disciplinarian at the start,slowly melting under the sweet exuberance of Charlotte Spowage's Maria - these two actors worked so well together and with the children, there were times I had a lump in my throat at the tenderness in their scenes. They were well supported by other principals; the three main Sisters were suitably pious and acted well, in fact all the Nuns singing throughout was superb, along with Rea Lawrenson as a strong Mother Abbess, giving an excellent rendition of 'Climb Every Mountain'. Lauren de Boer (Elsa), Callum Convery (Max), Florence Booth (Liesl) and Chris Atkinson (Rolf), all gave assured performances, along with other small parts, well-drawn. It's very hard in this show to compete with the Von Trapp children - and they were very good! I love to see children really focussed during their scenes, showing real emotion and great talent without becoming robotic.

The Musical Director (Jonathan Mitra) had done an amazing job with the cast singing - diction was superb in all the musical numbers and the orchestra complemented the singers.

Kimberley Baker (Choreographer) had chosen some well thought out dance moves for the children and also for the Captain and Maria's national dance - very authentic.

The video and lighting for all Diva's shows are stunningly created by Andrew himself and this time it gave a great feeling of being in the mountains of Austria, along with the Von Trapp mansion and the Abbey, giving authenticity to the production.

Andrew was aided by Andy Fretwell (Co-Producer) and the rest of the Creative Team.

This was a most professional production in the beautiful Wakefield Theatre Royal - please, continue to climb those mountains and bring us more musical shows of this calibre.